TITLE: Mir Ali Shir Symposium: Panel 2
EVENT DATE: 03/27/2007
RUNNING TIME: 83 minutes
During the 15th century, Mir Ali Shir (1441-1501) was the major literary figure among the Central Asian Turkic peoples, the ancestors of today's Uzbeks. His life, work and legacy was the focus of a symposium held at the Library of Congress. Sponsored by the Library's African and Middle Eastern Division and the Embassy of Uzbekistan, the symposium examined the writings of Mir Ali shir who wrote under the pen name Navoi.
Mir Ali Shir was the author of more than 30 books, written mostly in Chagatay, also known as Old Uzbek. He also wrote in Persian and Arabic. As a major patron of the arts, Navoi supported visual artists, calligraphers, authors and architects. When not involved in artistic and literary pursuits, he served as an important government official for his friend Sultan Husayn Bayqarah, ruler of Herat in Afghanistan.
Scholars from Uzbekistan, Europe and the United States participated in the symposium with presentations about Navoi's life and work and the society in which he lived. Speakers included Frederique Bressand, International Society of Timurids; Dilorom Abidjanova, University of World Economy and Diplomacy at Tashkent, Uzbekistan; Andras Bodrogligeti, University of California at Los Angeles; Ilse Cirtautas, University of Washington at Seattle; and Ibrahim Pourhadi, Library of Congress. Uzbek author Shavakat Azimov and Dwayne Rodeheaver of AmRus Ventures Inc. presented to the Library and discussed the first English translation of Navoi's work titled "Lisan al-Tayr ("The Language of the Birds"). Priscilla Roberts, president of the Friends of Uzbekistan, made concluding remarks.